The Rise of Skywalker went through more rewrites than Chris Terrio has ever experienced. Terrio co-wrote the story with director J.J. Abrams. To put things into perspective, Terrio co-wrote Justice League, and we all know how that turned out. Joss Whedon even ended up with a writing credit on that one after $25 million reshoots lasted over a month. Regardless, there are still a lot of Star Wars fans who were very satisfied with the way the final installment in the Skywalker Saga unfolded, even if it was seemingly written on the fly.
Colin Trevorrow was originally on board to write and direct Star Wars 9, but he later left after running into some creative differences with Lucasfilm and Disney. So, J.J. Abrams was brought back to the fold and he brought Chris Terrio along to help write a brand-new story, which could not have been easy, especially because it seems like they never really stopped writing, even when the cameras were rolling. Terrio had this to say about the experience.
"I've never rewritten a film as much as this one. It's like a tide. There's a new script every morning. But we just keep going at it and going at it, loosely thinking that it's not good enough. It's never good enough."
The Rise of Skywalker hit theaters in December and a lot of fans still have unanswered questions. However, much like the Wayfinders used in the movie, hardcore Star Wars fans can seek out novels, comic books, and video games to help fill in the blanks. As far as the rewrites are concerned, Chris Terrio says they were lucky to have a flexible crew with them. He explains.
"Luckily, the production team is so good that they can shift and adjust. We're course-correcting as we go - we're trying things, and some things don't work and some things aren't ambitious enough. Some things are overly ambitious. Some things are too dense. Some things are too simple. Some things are too nostalgic. Some things are too out-of-left-field. We're finding our balance."
Since The Rise of Skywalker is out digitally and coming out on Blu-ray tomorrow, we have been getting a lot of behind-the-scenes looks at what could have been. The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker book is out tomorrow too, and it features a wealth of concept art, along with several interviews with the cast and crew. The concept art within the book shows some of the material that was originally written for the movie, but ultimately did not make the cut.
Once Star Wars fans started to hear about the concept art and ideas that didn't make it into the final cut, rumors started to circulate about the J.J. Abrams cut. The concept art, paired with Abrams' on words about cutting the runtime down helped to spread these rumors. But, there is no J.J. cut since most of the things that were written and unused were never completed or even shot. Adding to this idea is the fact that there are no deleted scenes included in The Rise of Skywalker digital or Blu-ray release. Chris Terrio's comments on the rewrites were first published by Business Insider.